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'On the Shoulders of Giants' (Peter Graham) analysis by Dr. Stephen Arthur Allen, Part 2

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'On the Shoulders of Giants' (Peter Graham) analysis by Dr. Stephen Arthur Allen, Part 2

(The Introduction, Part 1, can be viewed at

This is an informal analysis by Dr. Stephen Arthur Allen of the brass band test-piece 'On the Shoulders of Giants' by Peter Graham composed for The Cory Band and published by Gramercy Music in 2010 for the British Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. The recording, without commentary, by the Cory Band directed by Dr. Robert Childs can be found on the recording 'Triumphant Brass' at This talk is being given in conjunction with a commissioned article to be published in the Brass Band World journal (issue 196, July/August 2010:16-19). A full unedited version of this article can be obtained by contacting

© 2010 Stephen Arthur Allen. All rights reserved. Not to be used without permission.

NOTE: I accidentally refer to 'the Mahler quote' in the slow movement when it should be 'the Bruckner quote'. Also note that the phrases of the spiritual 'Steal Away to Jesus' appear verbatim on the solo horn between letters G and J in the 'Elegy' interjected by the cornet/euphonium duet. (The author is grateful to Philip Harper for this ID.) However we don't hear the spiritual 'intact' throughout the work.

Anton Bruckner, 8th Symphony 'Apocalyptic' (1887), finale
Chicago Symphony Orchestra brass section
Toccata = 'touching the keys', fast, continuous figuration
Chorale = a type of hymn
'The Meaning of the Blues' Miles Davis arr. Gil Evans
Alban Berg 'Violin Concerto' dedicated 'to the memory of an angel'
Mahler and 'Maherian' = Gustav Mahler (composer) and his style
Wilfred Heaton 'Contest Music' (1973) for brass band, 2nd movement
Spiritual 'Steal Away to Jesus'
Tommy Dorsey - Father of Lyrical Trombone Playing (American)
John Philip Sousa Band (19th century concert band)
Herbert L Clarke (Sousa's solo cornet)
Arthur Pryor (Sousa'a solo trombone)
Simone Mantia (Sousa' solo euphonium)
'The Southern Cross' and 'The Debutante' (cornet solos)
'The Blue Bells of Scotland' (trombone solo)
'Believe Me, If all those endearing Young Charms' (euphonium solo)
Derek Bourgeois 'Blitz' (1980) for brass band
Edward Gregson 'Connotations' (1977)for brass band, finale
Sir Arthur Bliss 'Checkmate' ballet (1936), finale (also arr. for brass band by Eric Ball)

A so-called 'British-Style' brass band consists of:
1 Eb Soprano cornet, 9 Bb cornets (including a 'repiano' cornet that strengthens lines that need it), 1 Bb flugel horn, 3 Eb tenor/alto horns, 2 Bb baritones, 2 Bb euphoniums, 2 Eb bass tubas, 2 Bb bass tubas, percussion.

Run time 16 minutes 57 seconds
Producer Dr. Stephen Arthur Allen (Rider University)
Audio/Visual sound, color


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